2,997 New Positive Cases and 7 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

Public Health Urges Vaccinations and Boosters as Positive Cases Increase at Schools and in the Community

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 11 – With cases rising in LA County and across the country associated with the highly infectious BA.2 subvariant and sub-lineages, getting vaccinated and boosted is an important strategy to prevent serious illness, especially as there are many upcoming opportunities for celebrations and observances this month.

For the week ending April 16, Omicron accounted for 100% of all positive cases that were sequenced, with the BA.2 lineage and sub-lineages accounting for 96% of these positive sequenced specimens in LA County. For the week ending April 30, the CDC estimates that BA.2 accounted for 62% of sequenced specimens and BA.2.12.1 accounted for 37% of positive sequenced samples in the U.S.

The CDC estimates that BA.2.12.1 may be 25% more transmissible than BA.2. In Los Angeles County, for the week ending April 16, 8% of positive sequenced specimens were identified as BA.2.12.1.

With these highly infectious subvariants and sub-lineages in circulation, cases are increasing in LA County. The average number of daily new cases reported over the last seven days increased to 2,532 compared to the 905 reported one month ago, an increase of 180%.

To date, the increases in case numbers have not translated to increases in severe illness, with hospitalizations and deaths remaining low and decreasing. Over the last seven days, the average number of hospitalized cases per day was 245, similar to hospitalization numbers one month ago. Deaths decreased to an average of four daily deaths a day this past week, a 72% decrease from one month ago when the average number of daily reported deaths over the previous seven days was 14.

The lower numbers of hospitalizations and deaths reflect, in large part, the protection provided by the vaccines against the variants. For the week ending April 22, unvaccinated people were four times more likely to be hospitalized compared to residents who were fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and five times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated and boosted. And the likelihood of dying was also five times higher for unvaccinated residents compared to residents who were fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and 12 times higher compared to residents who were fully vaccinated and boosted for the week ending April 15.

“As always, we extend our deepest sympathies to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one from COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This month, there will be many opportunities for gatherings, including graduations, proms, and the upcoming Memorial Day holidays. For these occasions to not contribute to the increasing spread of Omicron variants, we encourage attendees to take sensible precautions that will protect you and those around you, including staying outside as much as possible and wearing a mask when indoors. And given the high number of asymptomatic individuals that are infected, testing before gathering with others, especially if gathering indoors, is an effective and practical safety measure that can easily prevent the spread of the virus. Most importantly, those who are older and those who have underlying heath conditions should be sure to get boosted as soon as eligible to maximize protection from these highly infectious, mutated variants of concern.”

Today, Public Health reported five additional deaths and 3,238 new positive cases Saturday, 2,146 new cases Sunday and 1,695 new cases today. The number of cases and deaths are likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend. Of the five new deaths reported today, two people were between the ages of 50 and 64, two were between the ages of 65-79, and one person was aged 80 years or older. Of the five newly reported deaths, four had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 31,996.

Public Health has reported a total of 2,895,400 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 2.1%.

There are 242 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,898,300 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

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